Papakolea on the Big Island Named One of the World’s Most Unusual Beaches

Stuff.Co recently ranked Papakolea beach on the Big Island as One of the Worlds Most Unusual Beaches.  Many folks typically associate Papakolea as the “Green Sand Beach”.


When it comes to beaches, the volcanic islands of Hawaii aren’t content to leave it at sugar-white. They mix it up with ebony black, Mars red – and green! Papakolea’s not exactly blazing emerald, but it does have a distinct green tint from olivine crystals deposited on the beach by a volcanic explosion about 10,000 years ago. These crystals are heavier than the rest of the volcanic materials, so as the water washes the rest away, the beach gets greener. Eventually the olivine will run out and the beach will be grey, but not any time soon in human terms.

Papakolea is in the Ka’u district. You’ll have to hike in and climb down the cinder cone. But hey, it’s green!

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